Today is a public holiday in France, Ascension Day if you’re religious, Fete du travail if you’re not.
That means everyone, and I mean everyone, is on holiday, except bakers first thing in the morning… and hospitals.
This is because French people recognise the dual importance of a baguette in the morning and being able to die somewhere in the presence of technology all day.
Because the holiday falls on a Thursday, a lot of French organisations feel that it’s hardly worth staggering to work/school on the following Friday, and they attach a false weekend in front of the real one to make it nice and long so that they can get stuck in traffic jams going in and out of Paris. The same thing will happen next Thursday when we celebrate the “Victory in 1945.”
But not everyone agrees when they are going to have a false weekend. My children’s school does it next week but not this week. My autists’ school does it this week but not next week, and they have strangely decided to ignore Victory 1945 day as well.
However, I know that if I call any fonctionaire* infested state department on a Friday for the foreseeable future, no-one will be there, because they all leave early on Fridays anyway – sometimes so early that it is Monday.
I hope you are clear about all this. Come on! Keep up! I will be asking questions afterwards.
One day, after I have taken a double dose of tranquilisers, I will tell you the story of our trying to import a camping car from Germany to France. It entered France on 3 September 2007 and is still sitting in our driveway 1 May 2008, unusable because we are waiting for yet more paperwork to be processed. I do not have enough zeros to tell you how many phone calls we have made and how many letters sent. I will have to use higher mathmatics.
When I am sufficiently calm.
Now that I understand the system, I will go to the supermarket at the beginning of next week, fill up the freezer for the next few months and relax till Autumn, safe in the knowledge that we can buy bread in the mornings and die anytime we like.
But we can't go on holiday.
*bloody civil servant
5 days ago